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Volunteer work for advertisement

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Has anyone every so no to producing cakes or cupcakes for an volunteer event? I was contacted to do 150 cupcakes for a New Years party that would coordinate with their theme, and in return I would be listed as a sponsor for their event. I guess me concern is producing that many treats free of charge with fondant toppers and other things. I am leaning towards saying no, because if I want to offer something for free, I would want to control the amount of product I would be giving away and sometimes all business is not good business. Thoughts?
post #2 of 18
I say no to beggars all the time.
post #3 of 18

I'd say no, 150 cupcakes = too much work for free.

post #4 of 18
I've donated treats to events before but I've never been given strict guidelines or specific quantities. I don't know your relationship with the coordinator, and I certainly mean no disrespect, but that's a lot of product to request!

I've been on both sides, organizing fundraisers and donating. When I would contact businesses to request donations I would tell them what it was for (where the funds were going) and ask if they could possibly donate/get involved. I was grateful for anything! Frankly, I think it's a bit rude to ask for such a large order and for a NYE party-it sounds like she's asking you to cater.

I don't know the details of the event/situation, as a small business owner this sounds like it will be more of a hassle then it's worth. The fact that you're asking makes me think you are uncomfortable with the idea. I know I would be.

Our local humane society has fundraisers & auctions (they rotate vendors since these events are four or five times a year), last time I donated a mini dog cake and a gift certificate. Usually, I just donate gift certificates. They have expiration dates and the amount is modest so I still manage to make some money. I've also made donations to our local YMCA for their annual silent auction, events like that.

It's entirely up to you! If you want to donate 150 fully decorated cupcakes then go for it! Personally, even just starting out, I wouldn't take on something like this in hopes of advertising (especially for a New Years Party).

I'd rather put that effort and those samples into a Bridal Show.
post #5 of 18
Evaluate the event and see if you're likely to benefit from it. I did something free here recently but it was for our NFL team. So it was definitely worth it or me. I things that were easy for me..they didn't specify what I HAD to have
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
In reply to all you guys, that is what I was thinking. Who was ask for something specific and an amount like that. If she would have said do what you can do, then yeah maybe a dozen would have been donated. As far as advertising, I don't think it would benefit me. I have kind of relationship with her except just emailing back and forth.
post #7 of 18

Depends on the event and if making 150 cupcakes for free would bring me a ton of business.  I will donate to certain worthwhile charities but only if I have the time and ingredients on hand.

 

Sounds like this won't be worth your while though.

post #8 of 18

it's rare to scare up any paying business from these giveaways--

 

what you do get is more peeps asking for more free stuff--

one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis View Post
 

it's rare to scare up any paying business from these giveaways--

 

what you do get is more peeps asking for more free stuff--

 

this ^^^

 

if you want to help a cause then do. if you want the publicity...don't. IMO the only bakers who get publicity from events are the ones whose name lends cache to the event because they are already well known. 

post #10 of 18

After 35 + years I've heard it all and I tried the free for refferals/ adv. thing and found out never came to past so the only places I would do things for nothing was my hotel accounts since we were their only cake supplier.Our cakes were included in their wedding ect package.Just say NO!

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
I did a freebie for a halloween to a foundation, and I never even received a thank or anything from the event people. At least a thank you would have been niece. I am really starting to see that people will try and take advantage of you, espically when you are a small starting business. Its good to see everyone is on the same page with their answers.
post #12 of 18

I have regularly donated product to several organizations I would have donated  time and money to anyway.  None of these donations has ever led to significant paid work--which is OK.  I didn't expect it to.  It sounds like donating should be a good way to get known, but it usually only gets you known as someone who is willing to donate.  This is the consensus of all the people I know who are in business.  If it is a cause you want to support, go ahead and spend the time and effort because you want to support the event/organization.  Do not do it expecting it will help your marketing effort as you will undoubtedly be disappointed.

post #13 of 18

Like itsacake's response.


Edited by Apti - 12/11/13 at 7:37pm
post #14 of 18
yup yup yup! What they said. Maybe just do minis if you have to.
post #15 of 18
We are asked by schools and a few other small local charities for donations throughout the year and we usually give a gift voucher (with full terms and conditions and a useby date) or a dozen cupcakes, or a small round carrot cake or similar.  I have never been asked for 150 cupcakes, that is an order not a donation.  They are usually grateful for anything they receive from all the businesses around here.  Is it possible to negotiate with them about them covering some of the cost?
I'm one of the larger bakeries in my area and we would not give away 150 cupcakes.  The only time we have donated that amount of product was for Pink Ribbon Day (Breast Cancer) but we also used it as an advertising event which the Cancer Council encourage you to do, the more you sell the more you make for them.
In my opinion an event such as you describe would not return much business, so you need to decide if this is a charity that you want to support or not. If not, don't do it, if so do it and accept there will be none or minimal return.
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